Frank Wesson Two Trigger 26″ .44 RF Rimfire Rifle & Loading Accys, Antique

SOLD FOR: $1,180

WOA#: WY240320CC006

Make: Frank Wesson

Model: Two-Trigger Rifle, Second Type

Serial Number: 4695

Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1862-1864

Caliber: .44 Ballard Long Rimfire

Action Type: Single-Shot Breech-Loaded Rifle

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “FRANK WESSON WORCESTER, MASS / PAT’D OCT 25 1859 & NOV. 11 1862”. The bottom tang is marked with the serial number. 

Barrel Length: 26”, Octagonal

Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a german silver blade in a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The notch appears to be adjustable for elevation, but we were not able to move it.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is smooth walnut with a straight grip, straight comb, and nickel-plated steel crescent buttplate. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs, and scratches. There are some scattered compressions and areas of discoloration. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13″ from the front of the trigger to the rear of the buttplate. The plate has some scattered light wear, cloudy areas, and minor oxidation. The stock rates in Fine condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue and Nickel 

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright and the rifling is sharp. There is some scattered minor erosion and infrequent minor pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 7+ out of 10.

Overall Condition: The rifle retains about 75% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is handling wear on the bottom of the receiver in front of the trigger guard. There are some scattered light nicks and scratches. There are scattered spots of oxidation and the worn areas are going to a light patina. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Fine-Excellent condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box Paperwork and Accessories: This rifle comes with a bullet mould, Lee and RCBS dies, and a total of 12 RCC .44 Ballard Long Rimfire cases. The cases accept .22 caliber blanks (Ramset) to ignite.

Our Assessment: Frank Wesson (ca. 1828-1899) was a gunsmith who was born in New England, he learned his trade from his older brother Edwin Wesson. Unfortunately, Edwin passed away in 1848 which prompted Frank to move out west. He returned to New England sometime in the late 1850s and partnered with Nathan Harrington to develop a number of firearms. In 1871, Wesson partnered with Nathan’s uncle Gilbert to produce a line of spur-trigger revolvers using the trade name “Wesson & Harrington”, Wesson owned the factory that made the arms and he continued to concurrently make arms under his name alone as well. The partnership between Wesson and Gilbert Harrington dissolved around 1874-75, with Wesson still making arms under his own name. Interestingly, despite whatever had occurred between Gilbert and Wesson, when Gilbert partnered with William A. Richardson to form “Harrington and Richardson,” (H&R) Frank Wesson allowed the newly formed company to use his factory to produce arms. H&R would continue to grow into one of the largest American arms manufacturers of the early 20th century.

This particular specimen is a Frank Wesson produced Tip Up Rifle. This is the second variant with an extractor and with the overtravel link on the right side of the barrel. The gun is a fascinating old design and has a distinct look featuring two triggers. The gun has quite minor wear given its age, retaining a strong bore and good mechanics. Even better, this one comes with some loading components so you can actually shoot it without having to source (and expend) actual .41 rimfire cartridges. This is a great option for historical firearms collectors. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Frank Wesson Two Trigger 26" .44 RF Rimfire Rifle & Loading Accys, Antique
Frank Wesson Two Trigger 26″ .44 RF Rimfire Rifle & Loading Accys, Antique